Tagged: H2

Original Axe Murderer: Unrestored 1974 Kawasaki H2 750 Mach IV for Sale

1974 Kawasaki H2 750 Mach IV L Side

There’d been plenty of fast bikes prior to the Kawasaki two-stroke triples, of course, but while those were “introduced” in a conventional sense, the H1 and H2 were more accurately “unleashed on an unsuspecting public.” Never before had a bike’s ferocious engine so overwhelmed the limited chassis technology and brakes of the period in such a marketable way.

1974 Kawasaki H2 750 Mach IV R Side Front

By modern standards, and on paper, the power of the bigger 750 was fairly modest: just 75hp in a 450lb motorycle. But that was on paper. In reality, it wasn’t the quantity that made the power so terrifying, it was the sudden and violent two-stroke delivery. I’m sure you could ride your buddy’s around all day at low rpm and wonder what the fuss was all about. But whack that throttle open and hold it, hold it, and it would try to yank your arms out of their sockets.

Which was also fine, until you tried to stop, or go around a corner.

1974 Kawasaki H2 750 Mach IV Dash.JP

That lightswitch delivery combined with feeble brakes and a flexible frame that laughed in the face of words like “handling” and “stability.” This was a gas-sucking straight-line monster that suited American roads, the perfect Japanese alternative to big-displacement bikes like Kawasaki’s own Z1 that were so popular here during that period.

1974 Kawasaki H2 750 Mach IV R Engine

Many of the Mach IV’s that show up here on eBay seem to be painted in a very nice blue color that suits the bike very well. But this original, unmolested bike is an appropriately 70s green that is far more subtle and effectively evokes that glorious period of polyester and 8-tracks.

From the original eBay listing: 1974 Kawasaki H2 750 Mach IV for Sale

You are bidding on a 1974 Kawasaki H2, 750 Mach IV, often referred to as “THE WIDOW MAKER”. My brother Mike bought this bike new in 1975 and it has never been for sale since that time, he has decided to sell it now.

This is a one owner 1974 Kawasaki H2 Mach IV in excellent condition.  This is an all original, ALWAYS GARAGED collectors piece that runs as designed.  This is a survivor, it has never been painted, it has the original title, seat, original mufflers, owners manual, etc.

The title is a MO title.  In MO you can keep the old title for your collection and apply for your new title in your name.

This bike even with the few dents and paint issues is as nice a bike as you will find that has never been restored and has been owned by only one person.  The bike was purchased new from Junior Mills Kawasaki in JoplinMO the first quarter of 1975.  The original title says 4/10/1975.

There are 11,000 original and accurate miles on this bike.  The chain, sprocket, tires and some rubber parts were replaced approximately 1000 miles and 5 years ago. It is in excellent running condition and runs like it did when new.  I have driven it about 100 miles in the last few days, it’s fun.  If you have never driven one of these it is an experience.

1974 Kawasaki H2 750 Mach IV R Side Rear

As they say, “it’s only original once” and that’s especially desirable when “original” is as nice as this one appears to be. While heavily patina’d bikes are all the rage these days, I’d personally rather ride around on something that cleans up nicely and shines a bit.

All of Kawasaki’s wild two-stroke triples are currently rocketing upwards in value, so at $6,500.00 with five days left on the auction, this one is obviously nowhere near its final price.

-tad

1974 Kawasaki H2 750 Mach IV R Side

King of the Hill: Restored 1972 Kawasaki H2 Mach IV for Sale

1972 Kawasaki H2 750 L Front

Nothing the Europeans produced had quite the same character as the big two-stroke triples from Kawasaki. Produced first in H1 500cc form, and then later in S2 and S3 sizes, the H2 750 Mach IV was king of the hill in terms of power and displacement. With a short wheelbase and power that came on like a 2×4 to the back of the head, these developed a reputation for killing their owners, although, unlike the earlier Mach III with its bendy-riffic frame, this was likely a result of new riders not really being prepared for the experience of the two-stroke’s savage powerband.

1972 Kawasaki H2 750 L Rear2

When the Japanese began their manufacturing onslaught, they were often perceived/portrayed as simple imitators, producers of budget crap that was great, if that’s all you could afford. But as their products eclipsed those produced by European manufacturers in terms of quality and reliability, they became less imitators and more innovators. And while bikes like Honda’s and Kawasaki’s big four-cylinder bikes allowed them to compete in the world motorcycle arena, they were still playing the game that had already existed, just playing it better.

1972 Kawasaki H2 750 Engine Detail

But the two-stroke performance motorcycles from Japan ushered in a new era of motorcycle performance, and mirrored the musclecar virtues of cheap speed, with frightening fuel economy to match: figures below 20mpg are possible with a heavy throttle hand. While Suzuki’s two strokes were often tamed for the road to smooth the power delivery, make them more four-stroke-like in character, Kawasaki embraced the gnarly character of the stroker, and their killer rep led to success in the showroom.

1972 Kawasaki H2 750 Dash

Considering the power on tap, these never sound all that menacing in person: the crackle and pop of even a big, highly-tuned two-stroke still sounds like the world’s angriest lawnmower to me. But until recently, the fastest motorcycles in the world were 500cc two-strokes that left an angry, buzz-saw wail in their wake.

1972 Kawasaki H2 750 Exhaust

From the original eBay listing: 1972 Kawasaki H2 750 for sale

This is a 1972 Kawasaki H2 that has been restored to as new condition. The engine number is 22221 and the frame number is 22118. It is a museum quality restoration of every single piece. If the original piece could not be brought back to as new it was replaced with NOS. The seat, pipes, and front foot peg rubbers are reproduction(I installed the foot peg rubbers without realizing they were not NOS and I’m too lazy to change them). All of the metal parts were taken down to bare metal and either re-plated or painted. The painted parts have 2 coats of zinc-chromate primer, 1 coat of sandable primer, one coat of sealer and the correct paint. The hardware is all NOS as is most of the rubber pieces. It was painted with as close a match as I could find for the original Kawasaki Candy Blue, it’s 2 coats of silver-white pearl with 4 coats of candy blue, the decals and then 2 coats of clear. Every single date-coded part that came on this bike is still on it and so are the steel plugged handlebars. The crank has been rebuilt with slotted rods and the pistons are from Wossner pistons, rings and pins. The original CDI’s that are pictured in the bike are not in it now but will be included. I have a Lakeland box installed. It has Continental tubeless tires with tubes installed. The gauges were done be Don Fulsang. This bike is as new right down to the inside of the switch houses and including the original wiring harness. I have installed a lithium ion battery instead of a wet-acid battery. It’s a numbers matching bike and I have put 400 miles on it since the restoration and all the bugs are worked out, it’s ready to show or ride. This bike is tuned beautifully and runs like it should, scary. If you want a new 1972 Kawasaki H2 this is as close as you will get. The only flaws are the candy blue pooled a bit on the top of the side cover so when the seat is up you can see it. After you ride it hard and park it the transmission will leak a couple of drops and quit, I must have roughed up the transmission shaft seal when I installed the shaft, and the tool kit strap is incorrect although a NOS Kawasaki part, it’s the battery strap. If it bugs you it’s an easy fix. I did all the work on this bike myself, it took me 9 months to build and I could not count the hours. I built it because I wanted a new 1972 H2 and this was the only way to get one. I now have other triples to restore and don’t have time to ride this so it’s for sale. This bike has no disappointments. I don’t think you can buy one nicer.

1972 Kawasaki H2 750 Electrics

The seller mentions that the color isn’t a perfect match for the original paint, but I think he’s being hypercritical: this is a really gorgeous bike, with a price tag that matches the preparation. I wouldn’t normally include a picture of the wiring, but you can see just how nice this example is. These have been steadily increasing in value for quite a while now and, while this is near the top of the range, the price doesn’t seem all that outrageous, since you could practically eat off the engine, it’s so clean.

-tad

1972 Kawasaki H2 750 L Rear

 

Little Rocket: 1973 Kawasaki 350 S2 Mach II

1973 Kawasaki S2 350 R Side

Kawasaki’s two-stroke triples were a milestone in Japanese motorcycling history. While the Honda’s CB750 offered sophistication and technology at a relative budget price, it wasn’t really doing anything you couldn’t get elsewhere, although you’d have to pay a lot more to get it… But Kawasaki’s line of two-stroke triples that started with their H1 500 in 1969 was exactly its own thing and created its own, purely Japanese vision of what a performance motorcycle should be. The bikes were designed for basically one thing and one thing only: brutal straight-line speed with a crackling, angry-buzz soundtrack that left a haze of blue smoke hanging in their wake.

1973 Kawasaki S2 350 R Engine

Made between 1971 and 1974, the Kawasaki S2 350 was instantly recognizable as a part of their two-stroke family, and featured familiar styling cues that included the three asymmetrical exhaust pipes and kicked up ducktail rear. As with many of the smaller-bore machines sold in the US, the S1 and S2 were really overseas models designed originally to skirt taxes on bigger machines and licensing laws for new riders. So the 250 Mach I and 350 Mach II were actually more civilized than their bigger 500 and 750 brothers, although maybe “civilized” might be pushing things a bit, or should at least be considered a relative term…

1973 Kawasaki S2 350 L Dash

The 346cc engine featured a smooth 120° crank and put out a claimed 45hp at 8,000rpm in typical two-stroke, lightswitch-style and the narrower engine of the smaller bike improved cornering clearance. It was a good bit lighter than its bigger brethren at 330lbs dry, and that lighter weight led to a corresponding improvement in what was known at the time as “handling”.

1973 Kawasaki S2 350 L Side Tank

These little triples were actually pretty nimble, although the first year was definitely underbraked and the marginal front drum was replaced with a more powerful disc for 1972. The 350 was eventually replaced by a 400cc version in 1974 that actually made less power but was more flexible.

Translated from ALL CAPITALESE over at the original eBay listing: 1973 Kawasaki S2 350 Mach II

This is a fine example of a 73 S2. A fair amount of time and labor went into this bike to spruce it up. It runs very well and is very good condition. The tins were completely stripped to bare metal, reconditioned and painted to the stock original color. There is no decal: it’s all paint. A professional vintage motorcycle auto body shop performed the work and it is showroom condition paint.

The seat is in pristine condition and is original. New bars, grips, mirrors, polished controls. The engine covers were removed triple polished and new gaskets were installed. Tube seals and dust boots were replaced. Both rims were in great shape and were cleaned, rear hub was triple polished, new spokes installed along with new tires and tubes. Cylinders were honed and new std bore pistons and rings installed. The caliper and master cylinder were serviced. Oil change, plugs, points and condensers, dialed in, timed and tuned. The carbs were serviced, synced and adjusted. It still has the clean original exhaust pipes. All hardware was cleaned, polished, and/or replaced. It is all stock in appearance.

It starts on the first kick and rides nice and smooth.

1973 Kawasaki S2 350 Seat

The S2 wasn’t simply an H1 with a de-bored and de-stroked engine stuck between the frame rails: while it used a similar design for both frame and engine, parts are not generally cross-compatible. And therein lies the problem: parts for these cool little machines can be difficult to come by. Luckily, this particular bike appears to be in great running shape, so bodywork won’t be a problem unless you loop the little monster over backwards…

1973 Kawasaki S2 350 Underseat

The S2 really isn’t at all what you might be expecting if you’re familiar with four-stroke engines of similar displacement. These things are very quick for their size and although tested top speed is shy of 100mph, they’ll get you off the line in a hurry and feel very much like their larger brethren, with the same dismal fuel economy: Kawasaki’s triples were the fastest machines in their respective classes, but you paid for that speed at the pump.

With prices of the H1 and H2 bikes skyrocketing in recent years, this presents a cool opportunity to get one of Kawi’s famous triples in a much more manageable package for a much lower price.

-tad

1973 Kawasaki S2 350 L Side

 

Purple Widow Maker 1975 Kawasaki H2 Mach IV

Usually when I see a bike painted purple I try to imagine it in a different color. This is not the case for this H2. For some reason I’ve always like the stock purple color these came in. These bikes were notorious for wheelies when you didn’t want them. What? When would you not want a wheelie? Alright, maybe when you’re going into a curve or in front of a cop. Other than that, bring on the power wheelie. 🙂 Only made from 1972 to 1975 + easy to wreck = theses bikes are pretty hard to find in original condition. I’ve herd of people being scared by them on the way home from the dealer and never riding again. I don’t know if that happened but I wouldn’t be surprised to find out it is.

1975 Kawasaki H2 Mach IV for sale on eBay

The seller is very thorough with his description:

Up for auction a nice 1975 Kawasaki H2 Mach IV.

It has less than 2,500 miles and the gauges look like new.

It has a clear title.

I believe the miles are accurate, because of the tires that the bike came with were the original ones.

FRAME: H2F-45605
ENGINE: H2E-35482

  • Brand new tires.
    • Balanced
    • New inner tubes
  • Brand new battery
  • It has a $1,000 super nice paint job.
    • No decals – Lines and letters are painted.
    • Gas tank is clean inside.
  • All electric work as they should.
    • Turn signals
    • Head light
    • Stop light
      • Missing plastic base. (refer to picture)
    • Dash lights
    • Horn
    • Left handle switch ok
    • Right handle switch ok.
  • Recently tuned.
    • Starts within the first 3-4 kicks
    • Idles great at 1,500RPM
    • Revs up as it should…….Lots of power.
    • Carburetors were completely inspected and adjusted.
    • Petcock works fine and has new fuel lines.
    • No oil or fuel leaks.
  • Chrome is in great shape.
    • Mufflers have no dents and are original, another indication that confirms low miles.
      • Minor scratches here and there.
      • No silencers.
    • Front fender is nice, no dents or scratches.
    • Original handle bar was re-chromed
    • Front forks have no pitting or rust.
    • Chain cover needs to be re-chromed.
    • Kick start very nice
    • Shift lever very nice too.
    • Rear break lever also nice. No rust or pitted.
  • Seat cover is like brand new.
    • Missing rear grab bar.
  • The frame was cleaned and re-touched but if I had the time I would repaint or powder coated.
    • I think this is something that will make the bike closer to showroom conditions.
    • Center stand nneds to be installed. (I will do it within the next few days)

Note: The clutch is hard to pull, but works fine.

Feel free to ask any questions and look at the pictures for details.

I can coordinate to ship this jewel anywhere.

I can also get good shipping rates.

Even though the seller is very thorough he doesn’t mention a few things so ask lots of questions. Be prepared to open your wallet wide, no, a little wider, nope, still not wide enough. I have seen these going for $2k for a thrashed untitled one to $10k for nice one. I’m gonna guess $6k for this, we’ll see if I’m right in a few days when the auction ends. Click here to see a neat purple H2

In 1974 they tried to smooth out the H2’s peaky power band that came on around 3500 rpms and didn’t stop until you wreck, I mean at 7500 rpms. With 74 HP and weighing in at 460 lbs it doesn’t seem that it would have that great of performance on paper. Those who know two strokes know that the power to weight ratio is offset by the power band. They added a longer sing arm in 1974 as well to help with stability. If I were looking for one of these a 1974-75 would be what I would look for. These bikes were just another nail in the coffin for the British bikes that ruled just a few years earlier. The British just didn’t have a bike that popped wheelies when you didn’t want them, they just didn’t it. Buy it, you know you want it. Just get a big life insurance policy before you crank that throttle.

~Buck

1972 Kawasaki H2: All original complete restoration….wait, what?

If a bike has been restored it’s not original. Maybe it’s just my opinion but seems like fact to me. I’m not bagging on restores because I appreciate the work that goes into looking for those specific parts and bringing a once dead bike back to it’s glory. If I were working a big collection I’d prefer the survivors over the restores but that’s just me being a blow hard, lets talk smokers. The H2 is a very sought after death machine from the 1970’s. This particular oil drinker is super clean and could easily be put right into a museum. I’d rather ride it.

The seller leaves his phone number in the add and I suggest you prepare a list of questions because his description is very short with very few details. Details like “is that mileage original or restoration?” hehe

Here’s what he says…

1972 Kawasaki H2. All original. Recent complete professional restoration to original factory specifications and condition. This motorcycle is in perfect cosmetic and mechanical condition.

To digress from my earlier blatherings… This bike is so clean. It’s so clean I would eat off of it. That’s right I said I would, not could, and it wasn’t a typo. I’ve only seen a few this clean and “original” in my whole life. If the engine has been gone through and everything works like the seller states this bike would be the perfect “only on sunny Sundays” bike. You can even two-up on these bikes so your significant other wouldn’t be left behind.
I’ve seen these H2’s going for $5-6000 recently but none of the ones I have seen were done to this level. I’m watching this auction just to see how high the winning bid will be. If you’re a geek like me, or if you’ve got an extra few K to throw around, check it out.

-Buck

1973 Kawasaki H2

Sometimes in business they say that they move someone closer to the door when they are about to let them go. This is not the case with a garage full of motorcycles, or is it?  The seller of this 1973 Kawasaki H2 appears to keep this rider close to the door for a quick get away. But now that I think about it, the bike is up for sale on eBay, so maybe motorcycle garages are like business.

 

From the seller

What we have here is a matching numbers 1973 h2-750 kawasaki that needs very little done to finish what was started. The bike was looked over and started this past month using stock carbs that came complete with all the functioning cables. The motor appears to be a fresh new build that was finished but the bike needs other things finished before being road worthy. The carbs that are on it are not stock. They are Mikunis but they are huge and I don’t know enough to determine what size they are. I have the stock carbs that came off the bike and those are what we used to start the bike. I have the throttle cable for the bike and it only needs installation for the bike to start and run like it should. Tuning is something the bike will need after the carbs are changed out. The new owner can take their pick of the stock carbs or the oversized carbs.

This is not your show bike, or you bone stock original. This is a rider, with potential as the seller states. There is a section of the motorcycle buying public that looks for originality, but then there are also those looking for a rider, a platform for their own input. These people don’t want to spend the type of money for a concourse bike, and don’t have the time for a basket full of parts. This might be in the middle, and priced right.

More from the seller

The bike is shown with a 74 gas tank. I have the stock tank and my buddie is mailing it to me.  The stock tank has no rust in it and has only one small hard to notice ding by the seat.The tank and sidecovers are in great shape with no rust as is the tail piece.The seat is in great shape with no rips, tears, or cracks. The seat pan is rust free and the chrome is darn near nonexistent of rust. I did not even give this bike a bath before photographing it. I have the brand new looking chain that needs installing. The bike is really cool to sit on. I did not ride it because the mechanic that started it did so with a little bottle of gas with fuel lines running off of it. And the chain was not on. I just wanted to make sure it ran. It does…The profile is cool and the rider position is comfortable. I had the same setup on an h-1 years ago. The clip-ons are a very different look but offer a very comfortable position for the rider. This bike is a professional paint job away from being a very fine specimen of a stock matching numbers kawasaki-h2-750.The clip-ons can be changed back to stock handle bars if someone should so desire. ..This is definitely a paint job and a couple hours of t.l.c. away from being a very nice daily rider/head turner. The reserve is very fair.

If you are in the market for a 2-stroke rider, this 1973 Kawasaki H2 might be for you. If you have some mechanical skills, you can take it where ever you want. If you haven’t accumulated the skills but have the tools, this might be the bike for you to practice. There is something about learning a skill by trying to keep something on the road. BB

1972 Kawasaki H2 750 For Sale

If you can’t tell from my previous posts, I’m a big fan of old, Italian bikes.  But in all honesty, anything with wheels moves me.  I mostly find vintage Japanese bikes to be a bit awkward-looking, like they were still trying to find a solid design language back then.  But sometimes sheer insanity wins out over an elegantly-styled, well balanced design with an impeccable pedigree.

The Kawasaki two-stroke triples certainly are attractive machines, if only for the aura of danger that surrounds them…  Nicknamed the “Widowmaker”, the original H1 was an intoxicating concoction: brutal power delivered over a short, two-stroke powerband, primitive brakes, and a frame that flexed frighteningly.  Unintended wheelies, scary cornering and high-speed wobbles were common and fuel consumption below 20mpg was reported.

So, a real man’s bike…

These things really are the two-wheeled equivalent of the muscle car: they don’t stop, they don’t turn, but they sure go fast in a straight line.

The motor originally displaced 500cc in the H1 Mach III but grew to 750cc for the H2.  Basically, a scaled-up H1, it was even more likely to overwhelm its underwhelming suspension and brakes.  It weighed in at about 450lbs and made about 75hp.  Not too impressive now, but these things absolutely ruled the drag strip in their day.

Some I’ve seen wear twin front discs, making you fifty per cent less likely to die in a fiery wreck when the frame flexes like al dente pasta approaching a corner.

Unfortunately, the one shown here for sale has only the single front disc.

1972 Kawasaki H2 750 For Sale

This bike appears to have been owned by an enthusiast.  From the eBay ad:

this bike was built by the guru of triples, tony nicosia in the late 80’s,in his HOT BIKE ENGINEERING shop in fremont california. I have a folder of receipts to prove ALL the work he did to the motor, and the receipts for  various parts from me and the last two owners. The motor was given Tony’s VIPER kit, which is a stage 2 porting and polishing kit with 34mm mikuni carbs ,wiseco pistons and rings, crankshaft rebuilt by fred gast,ie [fast by gast} in NEW YORK. This bike is not stock obviously and runs VERY, VERY STRONG. Also it has barnett racing clutch , which is SUPER strong and stiff to handle the horsepower. It’s a mans clutch.

See?  I was right: it’s a man’s bike, with “a man’s clutch”.  He claims 100hp from this modified motor.  The ad has an extensive list of modifications and work that’s been done to the bike, including receipts.

These bikes seem to lend themselves to customization: they’ve always been cheap, nasty, and fast, marketed to younger riders with a wild streak and a flagrant disregard for personal safety.  I once saw one sporting a motor made up of two triples with the end cylinders sawn off and bolted together into a fire-breathing four.  It sounded positively evil…

In any event, these have been around forever and have never been all that expensive, so it’s not easy to find one in nice, tastefully modified condition, although the bike’s reputation and rarity are driving prices up.

This one is currently at almost $8,000 with the reserve not met.  That’s a lot of cheddar for one of these, but the list of work done suggests that, if you’re looking for the perfect Widowmaker, your search may be over.

Two stroke engines don’t make the most sophisticated sound, but there’s definitely something exciting about a bike that makes you feel like you’re being chased by a small crowd of chainsaw-wielding maniacs…

-td